Success: Migrants and Refugees Freed from Detention Center

Wayan Vota

Target: Gordana Jankuloska, Minister of the Interior

Goal: Commend Macedonia for freeing detained foreigners and encourage the passage of laws to protect the rights of foreigners.

Macedonia’s Reception Center for Foreigners, also known as Gazi Baba, has been closed following international pressure. Sign the petition and congratulate Macedonia on taking a significant step toward a more universal and humane respect for the rights of migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers.

The Ministry of the Interior is working with the prosecutor’s office to expedite criminal cases in which foreigners are detained as witnesses so they can be freed more quickly, Amnesty International reports, and it has been funneling former inmates of Gazi Baba to the Asylum Reception Center so that they can apply for asylum if they wish to do so. They are also, however, free to leave, and many have.

These changes have been brought about by activists around the world, including those here at ForceChange, who wrote letters and signed petitions calling for the closure of the substandard and overcrowded Gazi Baba. Because of your efforts, hundreds of formerly imprisoned people have been freed. Sign the petition and thank Macedonia for the steps it has taken thus far to ensure that the rights of foreigners are respected, and encourage authorities to put legal protections in place for foreigners in Macedonia.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister,

Congratulations on the closure of Gazi Baba! This moment marks a significant step forward in terms of the way Macedonia treats migrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, and other foreigners and should be lauded. It is, however, only a step; there is still much more to be done. I urge you to continue this positive momentum by protecting foreigners in law as well as practice by proposing and supporting legislation that will protect the rights of foreigners in Macedonia.

But for the moment, it is certainly a time for celebration. The closure of Gazi Baba allows hundreds of migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers to move freely once again, released from the substandard conditions and overcrowding to which they were once subjected. It allows them to choose whether or not to seek asylum in Macedonia or to travel abroad in search of a better future elsewhere. It returns to them their dignity and their liberty.

Congratulations once again on this very positive development, and I hope to hear more good news out of Macedonia in the future!

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Wayan Vota

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